Teaching Tips

* Clearly establish high expectations for the course, and then be consistent. This is true for "behavior" as well as for academic work. (Note: Easy does not mean "good," hard does not mean "bad." In fact, there is no correlation at all with how difficult a course is and student evaluations of the course and the instructor.)

* Enforce prerequisites, but make clear what students are expected to know going in.

* Timeliness: start and end class on time. Be on time with grading of homework and exams.

* Have accessibility outside of class: keep office hours and appointments; return phone calls and emails in a timely manner.

* Deliver a quality product; students are very sensitive to a blas¨¦, uncaring attitude. "Responsiveness" and "enthusiasm" are highly correlated with student satisfaction.

* Don't change "the rules" (regarding assignments, exams, and projects) in mid-quarter.

* Use third-week teaching evaluations; short, but to the point; or, talk with several students who will give you honest feedback. (Consider naming 2-3 students as class ombudspersons with the job of talking to other students and then giving you feedback.)

* Ask questions of the audience frequently! Insist that they answer. (Most students assume that you will answer the question yourself if they just sit tight, avoid eye contact with you, and say nothing.)

* In general, be reflective and self-critical of your lectures.

* Admit ignorance ("I don't know the answer to that"); don't waste precious lecture time trying to show how much you know.

* Admit mistakes.

* Don't let students show lack of respect to other students.

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